LONDON—Marking the end of Responsible Business Week, Green Hotelier magazine has announced this year’s winners of the Green Hotelier Awards. The annual Awards by Green Hotelier magazine changed format this year to align with the International Tourism Partnership’s Goals for 2030. ITP’s Goals invite the hotel industry to align their corporate social responsibility efforts with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), also called the Global Goals.
Applications were invited from hotels of any size anywhere in the world, and were judged on their initiatives to reduce energy and water consumption, their waste output, their roles as responsible businesses to their employees and in the local community, as well as looking at how they communicate their sustainable and responsible ethos to guests.
The challenge was met by a broad range of properties from all around the world in locations as far flung as Malaysia, Ghana, Poland, Indonesia, Scotland and New York.
Editor of Green Hotelier and Awards judge Siobhan O’Neill said: “We were delighted to receive applications this year from many hotels and their owners and managers who are thinking hard about how they can contribute to the Global Goals. Reading them all has been wonderful. Every single hotel is deeply committed to doing their bit for people and planet, and many of them go above and beyond to have huge positive impacts for the communities and environments where they’re located.”
Overall Winner Named
The overall winner this year is Mercure Convention Center Ancol Jakarta. Highly commended was Six Senses Laamu, Maldives.
The Awards suggest that more hotels than ever are measuring their performance on energy, water and waste, and setting themselves new targets each year. Around the world hoteliers are investing in new technology as well as simple solutions to reduce their environmental impact. Meanwhile they’re taking their responsibility as fair employers very seriously, investing in the development of their staff, and raising awareness of human rights issues. They all make valuable contributions to their local communities.
Interestingly hotels are getting braver about communicating their actions more widely to guests and inviting them to be a part of their initiatives. Several hotels are encouraging guests to behave more sustainably during their stay via a range of innovative programs that focus on learning and having fun.
The winners of the 2018 Green Hotelier Awards are:
Carbon Winner: NH Conference Centre Leeuwenhorst. This NH Hotels’ property in the Netherlands has exceeded its targets over the last year by reducing its energy consumption per occupied room by 15 percent. As well as ensuring energy isn’t wasted throughout the building, they reduce energy through cogeneration and the use of more natural solutions like using sunlight for lighting and heating. They use centralized systems to control room temperature and monitor energy use throughout the building, but also help their guests reduce their own footprint by offering electric car charging points and bike rentals. Their commitment to reduced carbon footprint has really paid off.
Highly Commended: Inspira Santa Marta, Lisbon, Portugal.
Water Winner: Mercure Convention Center Ancol Jakarta. Based in a city which struggles to supply water to all its inhabitants, the Mercure Convention Centre is actively working with local government to ensure more water of high quality is available locally. They ceased drawing from their well, engaged experts and undertook a comprehensive audit, installing meters across the property, training staff, checking weekly for leaks, adding efficiency measures and re-using greywater. They’ve achieved a water saving of 51 percent in six years and 10 percent costs against an increase of 7 percent on revenue. And they’ve helped over 7,300 people access more and better water. A truly impressive commitment to water stewardship.
Highly Commended: Hesperia Lanzarote Hotel, Spain.
Waste Winner: Glenuig Inn, Scotland. This small inn in a remote corner of Scotland has thought hard about sustainability initiatives that make sense for its location and community. It performed well across the board but set a particularly high bar on waste, reducing waste to landfill by 97.5 percent in the past 10 years. Food waste becomes part of their energy solution, being dried and adding calorific value to their biofuel. The resulting ash is used in the garden. Chefs are skilled in portion control. By getting tough on packaging they’ve reduced their cardboard and plastic waste by 50 percent and they encourage guests to separate waste in bins for recycling.
Community Winner: Six Senses Laamu, Maldives. When you’re based in a small island atoll, community is everything, and Six Senses Laamu takes giving back to its neighbors very seriously. It gives 0.5 percent of total revenues plus guest donations for sustainable development projects in the community, contributing to roofing for a school, construction materials for a mosque, aggregate for a harbor, lights for an airport, and metal for a waste management centre. It launched “Eku-Eky”, which means “together” in the local language of Dhievehi. The aim is to strengthen relationships with Laamu Atoll communities, work towards sustainable development and achieve long-term conservation strategies. It drives conservation and education in schools. It hosts a quarterly meeting of all local councils and stakeholders to discuss sustainable development and how the resort can assist local communities. It jointly organizes an annual turtle festival which last year saw 1,000 people commit against poaching. Sixty-seven percent of staff come from the Atoll.
Workplace Winner: LUX Grande Gaube, Mauritius. The judges were particularly impressed with this LUX property’s commitment to human rights training for all its staff, which is reported and externally audited. They provide a hotline for staff to the appropriate Mauritian agency for anonymous reporting of any workplace anomaly. Team members are offered a range of regular health checks as well as health insurance and their development is addressed through the in-house LUX Training Academy. They anonymously survey staff to ensure they’re meeting commitments as a responsible employer.
Highly Commended: Sundance Apartments & Suites, Crete, Greece.
Special Mentions: Accra City Hotel, Ghana; Six Senses Zil Pasyon, Seychelles. Although not winning categories, the judges wanted to particularly commend the Accra City Hotel for its strong commitment to ITP’s Goals and clear alignment of its CSR activities with the four critical issues of carbon, water, youth unemployment and human rights. Additionally, Six Senses Zil Pasyon deserves commendation for its communication of sustainability, particularly through a range of fun, engaging and educational weekly events for guests, encouraging them to learn and participate in eco-friendly and sustainable activities, as well as written information for both guests and hosts.